Travel these days is challenging, but credit cards with travel insurance can offset a host of headaches. The best rewards credit cards will reimburse customers that have lost or delayed baggage, missed connections or canceled trips. Some cards even pay survivors in case of death or dismemberment.
A recent study by WalletHub evaluated 66 of the best credit cards with travel insurance across three broad categories: luggage insurance, travel accident insurance, and eligibility, cost and extra coverage.
Many cards that used to offer travel insurance have reduced or eliminated coverage. In fact, WalletHub found that only 24% of the consumer credit cards they studied offered trip cancellation insurance. And cards issued by Wells Fargo, Citi, Discover and Synchrony provide no travel insurance coverage.
Best credit cards with travel insurance
Chase Bank has been positioning its Sapphire-branded travel cards as leaders in the competitive arena of low-fee and premium travel credit cards. So it's no surprise that the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit cards both score highest in the study. Here are areas where the cards beat the competition, with the maximum coverage amount by category.
Best for travel accident insurance ($1 million in coverage).
Best for luggage insurance, ($3,000 in coverage).
Best for Trip Cancellation: ($20,000 in coverage per trip).
Best for Eligibility, Cost and Extra Coverage Combined, including:
Trip Delay ($500 in coverage per ticket).
Travel Accident ($500,000 in coverage).
Delayed Luggage ($500 in coverage per trip).
Trip Cancellation ($20,000 in coverage per trip).
Trip Delay ($500 in coverage per ticket).
The 10 best cards with travel insurance
Here are the top cards, with three tying for fourth place.
|Overall||Card Name||Luggage Insurance||Travel Accident Insurance||Eligibility, Cost & Extras|
|1||Chase Sapphire Preferred®||90%||100%||88%|
|2||Chase Sapphire Reserve®||90%||100%||70%|
|3||Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Elite||90%||96%||65%|
|4 - Tie||Capital One VentureOne Rewards||75%||96%||75%|
|4 - Tie||Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards||75%||96%||75%|
|4 - Tie||Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards||75%||96%||75%|
|7||Capital One Savor Cash Rewards||75%||97%||63%|
|8||U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite®||55%||96%||68%|
|9||Capital One Venture X Rewards||55%||96%||65%|
|10||U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express®||47%||96%||49%|
Source: Adapted from WalletHub Best Credit Cards With Travel Insurance, June 23, 2023.
Do you need travel insurance?
Thanks to new federal regulations, U.S. consumers have more protections when flying. These rules require airlines to refund customers for U.S. flights canceled for certain reasons beyond a passenger’s control. Airline customers also have more rights when their flights are delayed. The rules are complicated, so be sure you refer to the Department of Transportation’s refund guidelines.
In more good news for travelers, the new regulations spurred industry improvements; nine airlines changed their policies to guarantee coverage of hotels and ten airlines to guarantee meals for stranded passengers.
Still, for expensive trips, you will want to assess your credit card's travel insurance benefits. If you find them wanting, you can purchase trip insurance, which typically runs about 5% to 6% of the cost of your trip. The average cost for U.S. travelers from April 2022 to April 2023 was $284, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Ellen writes on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and sustainability. She was an ESG manager and analyst at Calvert Investments for 15 years, focusing on climate change and consumer staples. She served on the sustainability councils of several Fortune 500 companies, led corporate engagements, and filed shareholder proposals.
Prior to joining Calvert, Ellen was a program officer for Winrock International, managing loans to alternative energy projects in Latin America. She earned a master’s from University of California in international relations and Latin America. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
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